The OPEN Championship


Cheers again from Niles, Scruffy’s English pal. Scruffy has invited me to chat with you about The Open Championship, the most anticipated contest in golf, played on the most difficult courses on the planet.

The Open Championship in 2007 was contested at Carnoustie where historical records indicate the first known golfer was a commoner, named Sir Robert Maule (1493-1560), who was said to be tall, fresh faced and well-spoken, but prone to anger and pugnacious. It is said he was once seriously injured trying to prevent some people crossing the land over which he was playing.

The early Carnoustie Links were a 10 hole course, having double greens and fairways. Old Tom Morris extended the design into an 18 hole course in 1873, the year he won his fourth and final title.

The Open, as the Brits love to call it, is the oldest championship of golf. Visit this historical timeline to get a glimpse of the dramatic events as they took place over the years:

Beginning with the first champion

Willie Park (Oct. 17, 1860)

when the field was just eight strong.

Old Tom Morris

who still holds the record for being the oldest contestant to claim victory, (1867 at 46 yr. 99 days)

Young Tom Morris,

the youngest victor to date (1868 ad 17 yr. 5 mo. 3 days)

Tiger Woods

the defending champion in the 2007 contest.

Although the Claret Jug is one of the most coveted trophies in sports, it was not the first trophy to be awarded to The Open Champion. The first open of record was held in 1860 at Prestwick and the winner was awarded the Challenge Belt.

Young Tom Morris won it for the third time in the 1869 match, in which his father finished second to him, a unique family occurrence in the Championship. Young Tom (pictured below) was allowed to keep the original Challenge Belt after his hat-trick of victories.

The Claret Jug was first awarded to Tom Kidd in 1873, but the first name engraved on the jug was Young Tom Morris for having won the 1872 Open Championship.

Well, that's a little tidbit of history on The Open Championship as you prepare to view it on the tele. I will, of course, be cheering for the British chaps.

Before you leave, remember to visit the

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